Estates

Probate

Administration

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Administering estates can be a complex process.  It can also leave the executors liable to the beneficiaries if any mistakes are made that deprives the beneficiaries of the benefit they were due under the will. There is significant legislation and common law requirements to be adhered to the parties administering the estate.

We can assist you in this process and make sure that no assets of the estate are missed ensuring all requirements are met.

FAQ

It is a pretty simple estate. Can’t I just do it myself?

It is a pretty simple estate. Can’t I just do it myself?

You can but it is not advised.  Client’s often believe that administering an estate will be quite simple.  It often turns out to be far more complex than anticipated.  There are also ever changing legislative requirements to be met.  For instance, recent changes to the Trust Act require the estate to advertise prior to making disbursements to beneficiaries.  If this procedural step is not followed the executors may be personally liable to anyone who makes a claim against the Will at a later date.

There is just a property to be transferred, it should be simple, right?

There is just a property to be transferred, it should be simple, right?

Not necessarily.  A property owned by the testator may need to be transferred to the executors prior to being disbursed to the beneficiaries.

What are some of the common pitfalls?

What are some of the common pitfalls?

There are many instances where the executors can become personally liable to beneficiaries or other entities through the course of improper administration of an estate.  For example:

  1. Not conducting a search to ensure a beneficiary is an undischarged bankrupt;

  2. Not advertising as required before making disbursements;

  3. Not insuring tax is appropriately handled on any transfer to a beneficiary who is living overseas;

  4. Not filing a final tax return to properly close out the Tax File Number of the deceased;

  5. Distributing assets of the estate before the appropriate limitation periods without deeds in place with the beneficiaries.

I am the executor of a will. What do I do?

I am the executor of a will. What do I do?

This is a complex question and varies from estate to estate. Put simply your job entails:

1. Locating the will;

2. Assisting in arranging the funeral (make sure if there is a funeral plan in place it is put to good use);

3. Gathering in all the assets of the estate and making sure they are secured (make sure all insurances required a kept in place);

4. Ensuring all the debts are collected;

5. Obtaining probate;

6. Ensuring adequate records are kept reguarding the estate; and

5. Ensuring the assets are distributed in accordence with the will.

 

This is only a simple summary.

Please contact us for further details.

What should you bring to your appointment when acting as an Executor for an Estate?

What should you bring to your appointment when acting as an Executor for an Estate?

It is important to ensure that you bring as much information as possible with you at your initial appointment. This will give your lawyer a clear understanding of what is involved in administering the estate and will assist in enabling us to provide you with an accurate estimate of the costs involved.

  • Below is a list of some important items to bring with you;

    • Original Will if you have it (or a copy of it if it is held elsewhere);
    • Death Certificate – if issued, if not, this can be provided later;
    • Bank account details and/or statements;
    • Details of any real property held by the deceased;
    • Nursing home details (if applicable);
    • Superannuation statements/information;
    • Details of any motor vehicles/vessels;
    • Pensions (Centrelink card/Veterans Affairs card/overseas pension information);
    • Medicare card;
    • Driver’s licence;
    • Life insurance policies;
    • Home and/or content insurance information;
    • Previous tax returns;
    • Membership cards;
    • Details of any personal property and effects, particularly items of value (eg. coin collections, stamp collections, jewellery etc);
    • Any expenses that require to be paid or reimbursed from the Estate (eg. funeral accounts).
    • Call our team at Mott & Associates, Solicitors on 3180 3580 to ease your journey

Call our team at Mott & Associates, Solicitors on 3180 3580 to ease your journey.

 

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Information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Please consult one of our lawyers for individual legal advice.